One Pot Cheesy Pesto and Spinach Pasta

For those nights when you just don’t have the energy, this cheesy pesto and spinach pasta is an absolute winner. It has very few ingredients and is made in just one pot. There’s barely even any chopping – pretty much all you need to do is chuck the ingredients in and stir!

Pasta meals like this always go down well. Really tasty, some veg to get the goodness in, cheesy, and easy. Kids love it, adults do too.

I actually wanted to use broccoli in this dish, but it turned out that I didn’t have any in the freezer. No problemo! I used frozen spinach instead and it was great. But, you could substitute the spinach for broccoli if that’s what you have available.

One Pot Cheesy Pesto and Spinach Pasta – The Ingredients

  • Garlic – to be honest, this is optional but adds a great depth of flavour.
  • Vegetable stock – OR 800ml water and a vegetable stock cube
  • Pasta – I used penne but any short pasta shape will do (I.e. not tagliatelle, spaghetti etc)
  • Frozen spinach – as mentioned above, you could use frozen broccoli instead or even frozen peas (if you use peas, add them when you add the pesto otherwise they’ll overcook).
  • Pesto – any green pesto will work wonderfully.
  • Cheese – I have kept this vague here because really you can use whatever cheese you like. I used a mix of grated mozzarella and Parmesan, because that’s what I had leftover at the back of the fridge, but you could use cheddar, feta, goats cheese, even blue cheese or cream cheese!

Cooking the Pasta – Things to Note

  1. Give it a stir

    Make sure you stir the pasta every now and then when it’s cooking. Because this is a one pot dish, we use less water to cook the pasta than normal (so that it doesn’t get too watery). Because of this, you’ll need to stir the pasta every so often to make sure that it doesn’t stick.

  2. Don’t overcook

    Again, because you’re not draining the pasta, it’s going to carry on cooking in that lovely sauce while you add the pesto and cheese. For this reason, cook it until it’s slightly al dente before adding the pesto.

  3. Don’t use fresh spinach

    It may seem crazy, but fresh spinach just won’t work in this dish. You’d need to use so much to get the same amount in as when you use frozen spinach, and you’d need to chop it. It would be such a faff. Frozen spinach is a great thing to have hanging around in the freezer for dishes like this!

One Pot Cheesy Pesto and Spinach Pasta

Save This Recipe
Harriet Young
An easy one pot pasta dish with pesto, spinach and cheese
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and diced
  • 800 ml vegetable stock
  • 500 g dried pasta
  • 250 g frozen spinach
  • 100 g green pesto
  • 100 g grated cheese


  • Add the olive oil to a large saucepan. Put on a medium heat on the hob, then add the garlic. Sizzle for 2 minutes.
  • Tip in the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the pasta and spinach. Simmer for 10-12 minutes until the pasta is al dente. Stir occasionally.
  • Tip in the pesto and cheese. Stir well. Cook for another two minutes. Taste – add salt and pepper if needed – then serve.
Keyword one pot, pasta, pesto, spinach

5 responses to “One Pot Cheesy Pesto and Spinach Pasta”

  1. 5 stars
    We had all the ingredients, and I am all about one pot meals. This was so good! And easy clean up! Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    I had everything for this recipe, plus some leftover Italian sausage, so I combined the two. DEE-licious.

  3. 5 stars
    Love this One Pot Cheesy Pesto and Spinach Pasta recipe, so easy and delicious to make. Will be in my dinner recipes. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I LOVE one pot meals! I made this one for dinner last night and it was incredible! So quick and easy too!

  5. 5 stars
    This was such a quick and easy recipe that does not disappoint! Hearty, delicious and perfect for busy weeknights, indeed!

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Hi there!

I’m Harriet, writer and cook, and I’m so pleased to have you here! I love nothing more than cooking delicious food and sharing it with the world. You can find out more about me here.